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Voltaren® Gel, also known as Flector® Patch, Solaraze®, and Voltaren® Topical, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used particularly to treat arthritis and osteoarthritis. It was the first prescription-based topical treatment that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. It reduces inflammation in the joints and can be applied to hands, feet, ankles, knees, tendons, ligaments, and other areas of the body amenable to the application of a topical-based treatment.
Voltaren® Gel contains the active ingredient diclofenac sodium, as diclofenac diethylammonium. Diclofenac has analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Its effectiveness in fighting the pain associated with osteoarthritis is derived from its ability to inhibit an enzyme known as Cyclo-oxygenase, which produces substances called prostaglandins in the body. When the body suffers an injury or contracts an illness or infection, these prostaglandins are released to fight it. This process entails nerve sensitization, which means that the nerves are more sensitive to pain. By reducing the number of prostaglandins produced by the body by a process of biosynthesis inhabitation, the diclofenac in the Voltaren® Gel is able to subdue and reduce pain.
Other than its primary application to the pain areas associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis, the diclofenac in Volataren® Gel is effective in the relief of a number of muscle and bone-related ailments. From simple aches, sprains, and bruises to fractures, breaks, and dislocations, the analgesic in Voltaren® Gel is proven to offer pain relief. Other conditions that it is known to help relieve are migraine headaches, gout, menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea, and nose, ear, and throat infections.
Voltaren® Gel is applied externally to the site of pain with pain relief ensuing approximately 20 minutes later. It is recommended that the gel be applied two to three times a day to the pain site. The gel form of the Voltaren® formula is particularly suitable for those people who do not wish to ingest the drug. This is an especially relevant consideration when assessing the suitability of a pain relieving agent because oral versions have been known to cause stomach upsets and heart, liver, and kidney problems. The systemic absorption of Voltaren® Gel is 94 percent less than its oral equivalent, however, which implies that the gel form is a less effective, if safer, form of the drug.